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San Carlos School Parcel Tax Has a Name: Measure A.

February 18, 2011 Living in San Carlos, San Carlos Schools 10 Comments
MeasureA

Mail-Only Election in Spring

The much-discussed parcel tax will directly aid the San Carlos School District now has an official name:  Measure A.    You’ll recall that after much internal discussion within the School Board, public hearings, and even the use of a paid consultant to gauge the favor of San Carlos homeowners,  the District opted for a special election that, if successful, will essentially continue the $111 per household annual assessment that is set to expire this year.   This additional funding is critical in maintaining programs and staffing levels in our elementary and middle schools.

Need More Info?

There’s a very informative website that was created by the supporters of Measure A that answers questions about where the funding goes and details about the upcoming ballot:  SupportStrongSchools.com.   You’ll certainly be seeing and hearing more about Measure A as the ballot date draws nearer.
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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. Michael says:

    The campaign sign is misleading, it is a tax increase.

    The parcel tax was supposed to expire, so if it gets voted in, that is an increase over what we would have paid otherwise.

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    • sc resident says:

      You’re right. It is a tax increase because if the measure fails then taxes would be less. However, I’d still vote for it because property values are falling (and I expect them to fall further) and the city needs the money.

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  2. under 65 says:

    Sorry, the idea of a senior exemption makes no sense to me. The seniors in this community have greatly benefitted from the better schools – their home values have gone up tremendously thanks to younger buyers moving in. I HATE HATE HATE the senior exemption. Too bad we have to bribe all the old people eating at Town to do the right thing. Maybe the next ballot proposal should lump the schools and the library and the senior center into the same ballot initiative.

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    • sc resident says:

      The senior exemptions should be means tested — ie. if your income is below some number like 100,000 then you don’t pay the tax, if your income between 100,000 and 150,000 then you pay more and more, and if your income 150,000 or more then you pay the full tax just like everyone else.

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      • Michael says:

        I’m sorry, but if a senior has income anywhere near $100k, they can afford to pay the parcel tax. How many san carlos home owners are paying higher property taxes AND mortgages with similar (or lower) incomes? Why does being a senior entitle you to any special treatment? What if there were more cat owners than seniors that could sway the vote? Should we offer the cat owners the exemption? No. Why not? Because the cat owners won’t breed as much sympathy as poor old Ma and Pa living in their $1MM shed crying poor mouth. They are already paying 75-90% lower property taxes than many of us and we are expected to pay the additional tax even if we aren’t earning anywhere near $100k (or whatever figure you want to throw out there).

        A parcel tax, or any tax, is unfair unless it is spread evenly across the population. In this case, each homeowner reaps the same benefit of the tax, so they should all pay the same amount. And if a senior is determined to be unable to afford the parcel tax, it gets deferred on a lien against the property to be collected upon the sale of the house or the person’s death. At least eventually we would get it and the senior would feel no pain, living or dead.

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        • sc resident says:

          What you say makes sense but it will never fly.

          > Why does being a senior entitle you to any special treatment?

          Because it’s built into our society. All of the existing property tax additions have a senior exemption. Bus fares, train fares are lower for seniors. Seniors get an extra $1250 standard deduction on their federal tax return — but the very rich probably use the itemized deduction and don’t benefit from the extra $1250. Seniors get medicare. In California, when a senior sells their home and buys a new one, they can keep their old property tax amount.

          Maybe you’re right that 100k is too little. The maximum amount you can get from social security is about $36,000 a year (but the average is about a third of that), so people living entirely on that won’t be affected by my new means-testing rule.

          But I still stand by the 100k figure. It will cover seniors earning social security as well as a modes pension. Remember, seniors pay a ton of money on health care, despite medicare.

          Not only that, but I think the 100k and 150k should be adjusted for inflation.

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  3. Michael says:

    You have made some valid points, but hey, I became unemployed this past week through no fault of my own…is there any exemption (temporary or otherwise) for people in my shoes? No. So unless I am old REGARDLESS of my personal situation, I am expected to pay our $11,000+ annual property tax bill, but all the parcel taxes and fees heaped onto that.

    I sound bitter because I am. Even unemployed, people may still perceive me to be better off than many (and who knows, maybe I am), but just because I drive a nice car and live in a nice home, does not mean I have endless disposable income to tap for the greater good. I will be paying my higher property taxes in my retirement and old age…no one at city hall seems to be concerned with how I will be able to do that on soicial security.

    I stand by my contention that senior exemptions are unfair (and will still maintain that even when I become one).

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  4. sc resident says:

    Sorry about you getting laid off. I hope you find a job soon.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks SC; So far the phone has been ringing off the hook INCLUDING an offer from a former employer who terminated me. Good to know that I could land something so soon.

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  5. Michael says:

    Hoorah! The parcel tax passed!!

    Countdown starts now to the next time we will be asked to contribute more to the schools or parks or police or fire or…

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